video thumbnail

MIA@TB: Koehler holds Rays to three runs over five

With a Sunday comeback, the Marlins stayed above the .500 mark. While they try to build on that, their next 11 games all come against teams currently under that mark.

Miami continues its homestand by starting a series with the Cubs on Monday night. The Marlins will play four games each against the Mets and the Phillies after Chicago leaves town, hoping to stay close to Atlanta and Washington during the latter half of June.

Tom Koehler will take the ball for the home side as the Marlins host the Cubs for the first time this season. In his most recent start, Koehler was cruising along through five innings, but he lost command of the strike zone in the sixth inning at Texas.

In 5 1/3 innings, the Miami right-hander gave up five runs on five hits. He struck out seven but walked three and hit a batter. Entering the sixth inning he had a three-run lead, which quickly evaporated. The Marlins rallied to a win, and Koehler was not involved in the decision.

"I was throwing the ball really well early and kind of hit a little bit of a speed bump," Koehler said. "It was unfortunate with the way that I was throwing early on. But I've got to do a better job when innings start to snowball like that of taking a deep breath and get back to executing quality pitches like I was early on."

Koehler has been considerably better at home than on the road. His ERA at Marlins Park is 2.70, compared with 4.70 away.

Cubs starter Jason Hammel has a road ERA that is exactly one run higher than the one he has at Wrigley Field. In eight road starts, Hammel is 3-4 with a 3.20 ERA, opposed to being 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts at home.

Hammel's latest road nod came Wednesday in Pittsburgh, where he allowed a season-high 11 hits and was charged with four earned runs in five innings. Despite the Pirates' success against Hammel, his season WHIP of 0.984 still ranks seventh in the Majors.

Cubs: All or nothing for Olt thus far
The Cubs know what they have in Mike Olt.

The classic all-or-nothing hitter, Olt has counted 10 of his 22 hits as home runs. Entering Sunday's contest with the Phillies, the third baseman was on pace for 35 home runs and a .152 batting average.

"We know we have a guy that when he barrels the ball, can obviously drive it," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "But he is still a young man that's working on who he is."

The 25-year-old's power potential continues to justify his spot in the lineup. He didn't make the start at third base on Sunday, but Renteria will continue to plug his slugger into the order whenever he sees an advantageous situation.

"We're still trying to find a way to give him an opportunity to match up against certain guys to see if we can continue to elevate that confidence," Renteria said.

Olt has 60 strikeouts in 145 at-bats this season. While that rate leaves a lot to be desired, Renteria said he was not worried about Olt's strikeouts.

"I'm more concerned that his approaches in good hitter's counts are good," Renteria said. "Because we know when he swings the bat, there's a chance for something good to happen."

Marlins: Ozuna providing power
Giancarlo Stanton gets most of the attention with his tape-measured home runs. But he is not the only Miami outfielder delivering the long ball.

Marcell Ozuna, the 23-year-old center fielder, has been providing his share of production. While Stanton paces the team with 18 homers and 54 RBIs, Ozuna has 12 homers with 42 RBIs.

Ozuna has been especially good at home, where he has belted nine homers and driven in 33 runs -- compared with three homers and nine RBIs on the road.

Worth noting
• Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee extended his hitting streak to 10 games Sunday, a season high. • Cubs reliever Hector Rondon has not surrendered a homer in his past 45 1/3 innings dating to Aug. 3 of last season, the sixth-longest current stretch in the Majors.

MLB.com Comments